18 March 2020 – Declared a state of health emergency

Intervention Categories: Legal and policy; Declaring state of emergency; Electoral changes
Level of Jurisdiction: National

Overview: The French government announced a state of emergency for a health threat and introduced an emergency bill on 18 March.

The bill would justify any regulatory measure taken by the Health Minister to prevent the spread of the virus, and also gave the Prime Minister the power to use executive order to decree measures related to the health crisis. These measures include lockdowns, price controls, closure of public establishments, and requisitions.

The bill contained three titles, one that postponed the second round of municipal elections, one that clarifies what steps were to be taken under the state of health emergency, and one that dealt with the economic fallout of the pandemic. The bill was formalized as Law #2020-230 on March 23rd. Penalties for failure to comply with decrees under the state of emergency were clarified in Law #2020-293.
Full details here: https://www.gouvernement.fr/conseil-des-ministres/2020-03-18/faire-face-a-l-epidemie-de-covid-19